Old World Monkeys

164 species

Old World monkeys are native to Africa and Asia today and live in rain forests, savannas, shrublands, and mountainous terrain. Twenty-four genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons (genus Papio), red colobus (genus Piliocolobus), and macaques (genus Macaca). Common names for other Old World monkeys include the talapoin, guenon, colobus, douc (douc langur, genus Pygathrix), vervet, gelada, mangabey (a group of genera), langur, mandrill, surili (Presbytis), patas, and proboscis monkey. Old World monkeys have a variety of facial features, some have snouts, some are flat-nosed, and many exhibit coloration. Most have tails, but they are not prehensile. Some Old World monkeys are arboreal, others are terrestrial. Most are at least partially omnivorous, but all prefer plant matter, which forms the bulk of their diets. In most species, daughters remain with their mothers for life, so that the basic social group among Old World monkeys is a matrilineal troop. Males leave the group on reaching adolescence and find a new troop to join. In many species, only a single adult male lives with each group, driving off all rivals, but others are more tolerant, establishing hierarchical relationships between dominant and subordinate males. Group sizes are highly variable, even within species, depending on the availability of food and other resources. The young are born relatively well-developed and are able to cling onto their mother's fur with their hands from birth. Compared with most other mammals, they take a long time to reach reproductive maturity, with 4 to 6 years being typical of most species.
Old World monkeys are native to Africa and Asia today and live in rain forests, savannas, shrublands, and mountainous terrain. Twenty-four genera and 138 species are recognized, making it the largest primate family. Old World monkey genera include baboons (genus Papio), red colobus (genus Piliocolobus), and macaques (genus Macaca). Common names for other Old World monkeys include the talapoin, guenon, colobus, douc (douc langur, genus Pygathrix), vervet, gelada, mangabey (a group of genera), langur, mandrill, surili (Presbytis), patas, and proboscis monkey. Old World monkeys have a variety of facial features, some have snouts, some are flat-nosed, and many exhibit coloration. Most have tails, but they are not prehensile. Some Old World monkeys are arboreal, others are terrestrial. Most are at least partially omnivorous, but all prefer plant matter, which forms the bulk of their diets. In most species, daughters remain with their mothers for life, so that the basic social group among Old World monkeys is a matrilineal troop. Males leave the group on reaching adolescence and find a new troop to join. In many species, only a single adult male lives with each group, driving off all rivals, but others are more tolerant, establishing hierarchical relationships between dominant and subordinate males. Group sizes are highly variable, even within species, depending on the availability of food and other resources. The young are born relatively well-developed and are able to cling onto their mother's fur with their hands from birth. Compared with most other mammals, they take a long time to reach reproductive maturity, with 4 to 6 years being typical of most species.